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Ah, what could have been: Two boisterous guys from Queens hurling insults at one another.
When Rep. Joseph Crowley lost his Democratic primary this week, the chance that the Democratic Caucus chairman might be speaker sometime during the administration of another guy from Queens — President Donald Trump — went up in so much smoke.
The two men have offered small morsels of what could have been, making the loss all that more bitter.
“Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!” Trump taunt-tweeted Tuesday night after Crowley’s loss to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“Don the Con” and “Con Man Don” was how Crowley referred to Trump during the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland, when the Democrat was there as part of his party’s counter-programming efforts.
Of course, that would have meant three outer-borough New Yorkers in top leadership slots along Pennsylvania Avenue. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is a proud Brooklynite. (As are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Norm Coleman.)
And Schumer has never been shy about stoking some outer-borough rivalry with Trump.
So what happened to Crowley? What happened to all that New York political machine influence? Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales broke it down with me on the most recent Political Theater podcast.